Want to take charge of your personal and family food security? This website post is a self-paced course of videos, recorded webinars, fact sheets, and informative articles designed to onboard the new or new-ish fruit, vegetable, or herb grower (and poultry keeper!) get started growing their own fresh produce over an entire 12-month, four seasons of growing. It has been curated to start in spring and progress through a full year of growing. You can start at the beginning, during the current season, or any time you want: all content is free and open to the public. Plus I added some fun food preparation videos I did in collaboration with my Family and Consumer Sciences colleague, Jenny Lobb to help you enjoy your harvest. Feel free to email me questions @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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It is time to get started growing!
The first step is to start planning that spring garden. Here is a virtual class event to help get you started.
When people started to social distance at home it was not just vegetables that they wanted to learn how to grow. Backyard poultry keeping saw a similar jump in popularity. Here is a virtual class recording to help get you started in poultry keeping.
I have been adding new fact sheets on Backyard Poultry Keeping each year to Ohioline. Here is a list to provide even more information to help keep your chickens safe:
- Performing a Physical Exam on a Chicken
- Predators of Poultry
- The Making of an Egg
- Winter and Your Backyard Chickens
- Chicken Breed Selection
One of the most powerful tools in your toolbox is starting your own seeds. This allows you to grow whatever you want to grow, whenever you want to grow it. The whole seed catalog is available to you. I will be starting seeds any time now for spring transplanting. Want to learn how to start your own seeds? Below is a whole recorded webinar if you want to go in depth, as well as a short snappy video that introduces the topic.
Recorded webinar class:
Want a quicker overview of seed starting? Check out this quick video here:
My favorite way to grow is in raised beds. They allow you to concentrate your inputs such as weeding, planting, watering, and fertilizing in a spot. Because you do not step in them, you get a a great non-compacted soil bed that allows great root growth. Want to learn how to site and build a raised bed? Check out the super quick video below:
What if you do not have a spot to garden? Try growing in a container! Container gardening lets you grow just about anywhere and is a great way to get a harvest from a small space.
Once you got some seeds started, depending on how you started them, you may need to pot those up into larger pots to get ready for transplanting. This short video will give you an introduction on how to pot up transplants prior to planting.
Need to get those transplants into the ground? Here is a super quick video showing you the correct technique:
Kale is a tasty and healthy spring vegetable. Join me and my OSU Extension Franklin County colleague Jenny Lobb to learn how to make nutritious and delicious kale chips.
Another spring vegetable that is a favorite of mine is Radishes. Check out this video on how to prepare Spicy Radish Pickles:
Now let’s talk some summer planting. We are big into spring harvest but we need to start thinking about some hot weather crops and how to get ready for them.
Starting a Summer Garden from Ohio State on Vimeo.
I am a huge fan of summer squash and zucchini. Here is a quick 2 minute video made in collaboration with my OSU Extension colleague Jenny Lobb on How to Grill Summer Squash
Tomatoes are the taste of summer. They are also one of the crops that generate the most questions sent to me. I have lots of content to share on how to get your best tomato year. First up is a virtual class recording on Tomatoes 101:
Here are three great articles with pics on some of the most common tomato weather questions:
Planting Tomatoes When the Soil is Too Cold
Keeping Tomatoes Healthy in Wet Weather
Keeping Tomatoes Healthy in Hot Weather
Let’s take a look at a summer garden in full harvest and talk about summer growing. Here is a tour of my plot at Wallace Community Garden, an actual Victory Garden remnant from the 1940’s
Summer gardening usually means pests, weeds and disease. They can devastate your garden and drive you crazy. Let’s talk about managing pests in the garden:
If you are still hungry after the summer squash video then join me and my OSU Extension colleague Jenny Lobb on How to Grill Sweet Corn
We have a large Hispanic and Latino population in Ohio, enjoy Grilling Sweet Corn in Spanish
Keeping your new flock healthy is of paramount importance. I did a video in collaboration with our 4-H Youth Development program area on the importance of Biosecurity. It is applicable to kids of all ages:
While it is still summer, we need to start thinking about our Fall Garden. Each seasons gardening plans are made one season (at least) prior. So let’s start thinking about our fall garden and what we want to think about planting:
Once you get some transplants for fall, and have your seeds ready to go, it is time to plant the fall garden. Fall garden planting will allow a harvest right through Thanksgiving with some sound timing, the right varieties, and some season extension.
Organic matter is the foundation for great soil health. Fall is the ideal time to get a compost pile started to provide a stream of organic matter to use to get your best harvest. Here is a Composting virtual class event to get you started as a composter.
Fall is also a great time to get some end of season chores done plus get a jump start on next years growing. So when we say End of Season we are talking about the main season but as we will see below, we use all the seasons.
Ohio is a four season growing environment. Picking the right varieties, timing your plantings and using some season extension will allow a harvest all 12 months of the year. Let’s talk growing over winter.
Believe me, you can eat fresh, healthy produce that you grew yourself all 12 months of the year. Here is an update of a January over-wintered planting.
Spinach you grow yourself over the winter tastes amazing. Here is a tasty way to enjoy it in a Healthy Spinach and Strawberry Salad:
I hope you enjoyed the page! Feel free to share. I will be hosting more classes online and on-site this year to support growers so I recommend subscribing. Feel free to send any questions my way to Tim McDermott.email@example.com or if you are not a Franklin County resident, find the contact for your Extension educator at Extension.osu.edu